BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Recognized for success on and off the diamond, WKU Baseball’s Kaleb Duckworth earned 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District II Team honors, it was announced Thursday. Following his All-District and All-American Third Team selection in 2016, Duckworth becomes the second Hilltopper to earn the distinction at least twice in his career (Matt Rice in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
CoSIDA Academic nominees must be a starter or significant contributor to the team while carrying at least a 3.3 grade point average, and Duckworth surely fits that bill.
The Henderson, Kentucky, native ranks third on WKU with six dingers and a .398 slugging percentage. Duckworth leads the team with 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts, starting in 35-of-46 games this season.
He provided the most exciting moment of the season, crushing a walk-off, two-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth gave the Hilltoppers a dramatic 6-5 victory over Valparaiso on Opening Day. On his 21st birthday Tuesday night vs. Eastern Kentucky, the outfielder/designated hitter filled up the stat sheet by going 2-for-3 – while also reaching base via walk and hit by pitch – stole two bases, scored three times and drove in four.
In the classroom, Duckworth boasts a top-tier 3.96 GPA while pursuing a degree in Accounting. Just last month, he earned Conference USA Academic Medal (3.75 GPA or higher) distinction for the third straight year.
With All-District II honors, Duckworth is eligible for the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot, which will be announced at the beginning of June. Last season, the outfielder was selected to the Third Team nationally, becoming the first WKU student-athlete to do so since Ian Tompkins in 2014.
The Hilltoppers travel to Charleston, West Virginia, this weekend to take on Marshall for a three-game C-USA series. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday contests at Appalachian Power Park begin at 1 p.m., 12 p.m. and 9 a.m. CT, respectively.
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